FLO Student Support

What is a forum?

A forum is a place to communicate ideas and thoughts. Generally each of your topic's will have a number of forums in which you can communicate with other students and the teaching staff. Some topics also utilise forums for assessment purposes.

What is it for?

Forums have many uses, such as

  • A social space for students to get to know each other
  • For topic announcements (using a news forum with forced subscription)
  • For discussing topic content or reading materials
  • For continuing online an issue raised previously in a face-to-face session
  • For teacher-only discussions (using a hidden forum)
  • A help centre where tutors and students can give advice
  • A one-on-one support area for private student-teacher communications (using a forum with separate groups and with one student per group)
  • For extension activities, for example ‘brain teasers’ for students to ponder and suggest solutions to

Keeping track of new posts

When visiting your FLO topic, you will be visually alerted to the presence of new forum posts.  A message next to the forum will notify you of unread posts.

unread forum post notifications appear beside each forum

You can also subscribe to a forum to receive notification of new posts.  Some forums, like the Announcement forum, are set to 'forced subscription' mode, and will automatically be set to send email notifications.  Other forums may have optional subscription.

To change your forum preferences, click on your name at the top right of your screen then select preferences then forum preferences.  Here you can select the type of email notifications you would like to receive (individual emails or a daily digest), and edit your auto-subscription setting.

To edit your subscription to a specific forum, enter that forum then look to the administration menu then forum administration.  If Optional Subscription is enabled, you may be able to subscribe or unsubscribe.



The Announcement forum is found in most topics, and is used by your teacher to post important announcements or updates.

The announcement forum in your FLO topic

By default, the announcement forum is set to 'forced subscription' mode, meaning you will receive email notifications of all Announcements to your University email address.  

Unlike many other forums, the Announcement forum does not support replies.
The announcement forum in your FLO topic
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The announcement forum link in a FLO topic

How do I use it?

When posting to any forum activity, make sure you follow appropriate online behaviour.  See the University's Netiquette guidelines for more information.

If a discussion forum has been set up in your topic. Click on the heading to begin reading posts or posting yourself. This is an example of what it may look like,


You can subscribe to a forum to receive notifications of new forum posts by first entering the forum then clicking on the Administration drop-down menu. 
Please note:
 A teacher can set the subscription mode to optional, forced or auto, or prevent subscription completely.

subscribe to forum



To post to a forum, first you will need to locate it in your FLO topic page.  Click on the title to enter the forum.

a forum available from a topic page

  • If discussion has already started, you will see a list of ongoing discussions. 
a list of ongoing discussions within a discussion forum

  • To read or reply to an ongoing discussion, click on the name of the discussion. 

click on the name of a discussion to enter it

  • To post a reply, look for the reply option at the bottom right of the post.

the reply option, located at the bottom right of a post

  • If you wish to start a new discussion, click Add a new discussion topic.
the 'add a new discussion topic' button within a forum

  • Enter your post's subject and message
When posting to any forum activity, make sure you follow appropriate online behaviour.  See the University's Netiquette guidelines for more information.

Content in the message field will auto-save every 60 seconds, however we do not recommend that you rely on the auto-save feature to save your content.
You may like to compose your blog post in a program like Word, and copy and paste your text into the message field once you are ready to post.


  • When you are ready, click post to forum.
Write your forum post - 'subject' and 'message' fields highlighted

You have 15 minutes to edit your post after clicking the 'post to forum' button.  After this time has lapsed you will not be able to make any further changes.
If you need to delete your post for any reason, and the 15 minute window has lapsed, please contact your Topic Coordinator directly for assistance.

If you use the HTML editor for a prolonged period of time you may experience a time-out. If this occurs, log back into FLO and straight back to the content you were editing.  FLO will try to auto-recover your content.  If you fail to log back in or if you navigate away from the content it will not be recoverable.


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The grey 'add a new discussion topic' button

Write your forum post subject and message.  When ready, click post to forum.

TIP:  You may like to compose your blog post in a program like Word, and copy and paste your text into the message field once you are ready to post.
You have 15 minutes to edit your post after clicking the 'post to forum' button.  After this time has lapsed you will not be able to make any further changes.

Write your forum post - 'subject' and 'message' fields highlighted


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A Question and Answer forum is one where you are asked to reply to a specific post before you can see the replies posted by other students.  

Question and Answer forums can be identified by the text reading 'this is a question and answer forum.  In order to see other responses to these questions, you must first post your answer'.

A question and answer forum can be identified by the text 'this is a question and answer forum'

To read the original post, click on its discussion title.  Read the post, then click the reply button below to the right.

click 'reply' to post your answer

Your post will be visible to other students after the 15 minute editing window has lapsed.  Wait for the 15 minute window to lapse to see other student's posts.

Troubleshooting

If you see the text 'there are no questions yet in this forum', this indicates that your teacher has not yet posted a discussion for you to respond to.  Please let your teacher know if you see this message.
Text reading 'there are not questions yet in this forum'
 



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